On episode 233 of The Art of Living Proactively (Harnessing the Power of Your Choices), host Tony Winyard was joined by pediatrician and life coach Sheila Carroll. They discussed practical ways parents can help their children build healthy lifestyles and avoid common issues like obesity, anxiety, and depression.
Dr. Carroll explained that rates of these childhood conditions have been rising, indicating too many kids struggle with poor nutrition, inadequate sleep and exercise, and excessive technology use. She focused on how parents are the ones who create the home environment and model behaviours for children.
Some of her top advice included:
- Focusing on overall wellness rather than just weight loss
- Leading by example with your own lifestyle changes
- Starting small with manageable healthy changes
- Education to fuel the motivation to make changes
Dr. Carroll also recommended eliminating sugary drinks, reducing ultra-processed foods, and improving sleep habits as impactful starting points. She emphasised children cannot successfully change habits on their own. By parents committing to transform their own lifestyles first, kids naturally pick up those healthy behaviours.
Tune into episode 233 of The Art of Living Proactively to hear more of Dr. Sheila Carroll’s insightful guidance on helping both parents and children build healthy lifelong habits.
[02:06] Sheila’s history
[03:50] If the children have obesity, do the parents also have it?
[05:14] Parents who are not obese can be confused when their children are
[06:49] How did you get interested in this area?
[09:43] It’s difficult for parents to know which advice to follow
[11:43] How can parents be proactive for their kids?
[13:52] Don’t focus on weight, focus on improving health
[20:08] Will it be easier for parents dealing with obesity to help their kids deal with it?
[21:38] Some people end up getting stressed by constantly looking at the scales
[23:19] Can you share some practical tips for parents?
[25:41] Many people believe fruit juice is healthy
[29:42] What does proactive mean to you?
[33:24] Not all your thoughts are true!
[36:05] What is a book which has really moved you?
[38:08] Sheila’s contact details
[38:38] Sheila’s favourite quote
[41:08] We make things worse by fighting reality
Dr. Sheila Carroll is a paediatrician and obesity medicine physician who has spent over 20 years caring for sick children, often working in the hospital setting. More recently in her career, she practiced in a clinic where she saw many kids struggling with obesity, anxiety, depression, and other lifestyle-related health issues.
Driven by her own personal journey with weight and wellness, Dr. Carroll became a certified life coach to take a new approach – focusing on empowering parents to create healthy home environments. As a life coach, she helps moms and dads commit to improving their own lifestyles first so they can serve as positive role models for their children.
Dr. Carroll doesn’t believe in putting kids on diets or making them feel bad about themselves. Her method is providing education, tools, and emotional skills so the entire family can develop balanced nutrition, better sleep, increased activity, and healthy relationships with food. She emphasizes making small, sustainable changes rather than overwhelming transformations.
With empathy, experience, and evidence-based methods, Dr. Carroll guides families towards living fuller, healthier lives. Her website is sheilacarrollmd.com where you can learn more about her coaching programs.
Watch this episode on YouTube
Episode 233 of The Art of Living Proactively. And in this episode, Pediatrician and life coach Sheila Carroll. Discusses helping parents improve their children’s health through lifestyle changes rather than focusing on weight loss. She talks about the common health issues seen in children today, like obesity, anxiety, and depression, and how things like poor nutrition, lack of sleep and exercise, and excessive technology use contribute. She recommends eliminating sugary drinks. reducing ultra processed foods and making simple changes, like improving sleep habits. And she talks about the importance of parents leading by example and says children can not successfully make health changes on their own So that’s some of the things that we discuss in this episode. There’s a lot more as well So if you do enjoy this episode please do subscribe. Leave us a review on the app store either the. apple one or the google one that would really be helpful for more people finding out about the show. Hope you enjoy this week’s episode
[00:01:05] Tony Winyard: Welcome to another edition of the, art of Living Proactively. My guest today is Sheila Carroll and we’re in Maine .
[00:01:14] Sheila Carroll: Yep. I live up in Maine, which is about two hours north of Boston and and about five hours north of New York City in the us.
[00:01:22] Tony Winyard: So what is a native from main called a main Manian or what?
[00:01:27] Sheila Carroll: Mainor is
[00:01:29] Tony Winyard: A Mainer. Okay.
[00:01:30] Sheila Carroll: some people are call us maniacs. But we use the term manor like a native manor, which I am born and raised here.
[00:01:39] Tony Winyard: dunno if you’re familiar with, a few years ago in England, we had a whole thing about leaving the EU, that Brexit and there were two opposing sides. There was the Brexiteers and the remainers. So it sounds like,
[00:01:54] Sheila Carroll: Yeah.
[00:01:55] Tony Winyard: Okay. Sheila, I know that you are helping sort like children and with weight loss and you’re a life coach as well.
Maybe tell us a little bit more about what you do.
[00:02:06] Sheila’s history
[00:02:06] Sheila Carroll: Sure I am a I’m a board certified pediatrician and an obesity medicine physician and about, I don’t know, a few years ago now, I. Became a certified life coach, and I currently work helping parents. So I’m a pediatrician and I’ve spent, 20 plus years, like dealing with sick children. I usually work in the hospital to tell you the truth, so when kids are sick enough to be in the hospital.
But the last few years of my career I worked in a clinic, in an office, and I was seeing a lot of kids and families struggling with lifestyle. Disease, lifestyle problems, really, I guess I would say one would be carrying extra weight. Lots of anxiety. Some depression, poor school performance, like just poor f poor nutrition, not getting enough exercise.
So I was seeing this and how the children were suffering number one, but also how their parents were. We’re struggling and I decided to try to a new approach. I still wanna help the children, but I’m doing that by focusing on exclusively on helping the parents. So I help the parents, i, coach them, educate them, empower them to set up the healthy lifestyle for themselves first so that they can be the role model that they’re, that they want their children to have.
[00:03:50] If the children have obesity, do the parents also have it?
[00:03:50] Tony Winyard: And so is there a case of where children are suffering or have obesity that the parents often do as well or not?
[00:04:01] Sheila Carroll: Sometimes, but not always. We, it, we don’t know exactly what makes one person more prone. To gaining weight easily than someone else. For example, myself, I’m one of five kids and I was an overweight. I became an overweight child when I was around 10 years old. But two of my siblings never struggled at all, and we all ate the same food. I think over time I ended up eating more than them because the way that extra weight or extra fat tissue, adipose tissue, the way that works, it actually makes you hungrier. So that’s part of the, that’s part of the issue for people.
But so we don’t know, why some people gain weight. More easily than other people. So sometimes kids who are struggling have parents who are also struggling. And sometimes the parents aren’t struggling with weight even though they’re eating the same food as their child. So it’s, it could be either way.
[00:05:14] Parents who are not obese can be confused when their children are
[00:05:14] Tony Winyard: So for parents who maybe aren’t struggling with weight issues and their children are.
Would it be much more confusing to them? Why is this happening to my child when we are not?
[00:05:24] Sheila Carroll: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And there’s usually some, obvious things that we can look at right away. I look at four big areas, nutrition sleep. movement or exercise and then emotional regulation skills and basically tie that to like, emotional eating and trying to prevent things like that.
So parents can help identify, or, parents can say I wonder what, my kid is not sleeping very well, or he do, he’s using the screen all the time. So there’s usually. There’s definitely places to correct the vast majority. The vast majority of kids that are struggling with extra weight are doing so because of the lifestyle factors in combination with their personal biology.
So there are a few, like very rare genetic disorders where people have, are prone to gaining weight. But tho those are exceedingly rare. So this is the beauty, this is the good news. Like if parents can, how, if parents can change the lifestyle that the child is living, then their child will benefit from that.
[00:06:49] How did you get interested in this area?
[00:06:49] Tony Winyard: And what was it that drew you towards this in the first place?
[00:06:54] Sheila Carroll: I think my personal struggle to tell you the truth was one thing. I, like I said, I struggled as a kid. I struggled as a teenager, as a, as an adult, off and on. And it really affected my life in a lot of ways. Deeply affected and affected how I felt about myself.
[00:07:17] Tony Winyard: Right.
[00:07:18] Sheila Carroll: And now that I’ve solved the issue for myself, figured it out and I know it’s a way that can help other people.
I feel so in driven or inspired or trying to get. This knowledge into the hands of parents. So parents can prevent their kid from ever having to go through decades of struggle or, years and years of living in a body size that they don’t want to. And it’s more, it’s. It’s more of than just like the size of your body or the number on the scale.
What my approach is really focusing on health and like, it doesn’t honestly a hundred percent matter what the number on the scale is. That’s a marker of some other health behaviors that you’re if that number’s higher than it than you want it to be or higher than a doctor is telling you it should be.
It’s probably because of some. Habits that you have, that if you altered those habits, your whole health would improve. this is the thing, like, we’re now knowing, we’re now seeing like, Alzheimer’s disease or, cognitive decline in older people, in, in older and older people. It starts. As when you’re younger, it’s not just like all of a sudden you’re 60 and your brain, hits the skids. It’s like that’s been building up over time because of things you’ve been doing. Un probably unwittingly, unknowingly. But so if we can teach our kids. And instill in them a healthy lifestyle from the get go.
They can prevent, type two diabetes, prevent lots of cancers are associated with extra weight. And so there’s just, so we really are looking at health. And not weight. So it’s not a diet. We’re not putting any kid on a diet. We’re not restricting, but we’re looking like, okay, what? What foods do we need to be eating that are gonna serve your body?
What about sleep? What about moving? What about learning how to manage your emotions?
[00:09:43] It’s difficult for parents to know which advice to follow
[00:09:43] Tony Winyard: I I guess for parents it’s so difficult because it’s a real minefield with misinformation and disinformation on the internet and in media and so on, and so it’s can be difficult to know which is the right advice to follow, I guess.
[00:09:59] Sheila Carroll: I know even myself, I even as a doctor, there are doctors who are saying plant-based is the best way to go. This is how you achieve like optimal health. There’s other doctors who are saying, Nope, carnivore, keto, this is the way you achieve. So I agree. It’s very confusing. It can be but if we let ourselves get mired down in that confusion and do nothing, I think the one thing that both of those groups, almost every single person that you would talk to Would agree that highly processed foods, these ultra processed foods, the foods that have been created in the last 50 or 60 years, those are not working for our bodies.
We are a very ancient human body that’s evolved over millions of years. That food, which has been created, to sell, to make money to keep us buying it, and it tastes good. It’s not working for our health, our mental health, or our physical health. so that’s the one thing I think parents, you don’t need to subscribe to a certain way of eating, a certain keto or paleo or or whatever.
But if you can shift your family to. More real, whole unprocessed foods your health and your child’s health will greatly improve dramatically.
[00:11:38] Tony Winyard: So I know, you’ve been a well practicing pediatrician for more than 20 years,
[00:11:43] Sheila Carroll: Yeah.
[00:11:43] How can parents be proactive for their kids?
[00:11:43] Tony Winyard: so what are the sort of common health issues you’ve seen in children and how can parents proactively address
[00:11:51] Sheila Carroll: those?
Obesity is one common, really common. I think, the latest data, it’s pre pandemic. And we know that the rates of weight gain were going up during the pandemic. But. 20 to 30% of children, at least in the US were considered overweight. Or obese based on their bmi. So that’s one issue that kids are facing.
Kids are facing a lot. And then that comes along with other issues. So then you might have some, we are seeing earlier and earlier, kids having liver problems. It’s called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. So you’re eating. You are eating mostly foods, ultra processed foods. This doesn’t happen to kids who are eating real whole unprocessed foods.
So what’s happening is you are getting a big fructose load and you know your body is doing its best trying to help you out. Like, Hey, where can I put this stuff to say, it’s coming, it’s here. What do I do with it? But it might store it in your liver. And that crowds out your healthy liver cells and now you have liver disease, liver problems.
So we’re in type two diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure. And we know there’s social and mental health effects that go along with extra weight. Kids don’t feel good about themselves. They have lower self-esteem. They’re more prone to anxiety and depression. And so outside of that, in my office I was seeing a lot of kids with anxiety and depression in general.
Even kids with normal weight or who wouldn’t be considered to be carrying extra weight. I think that’s a really common health worry for parents or for kids and their parents these days. Yeah.
[00:13:52] Don’t focus on weight, focus on improving health
[00:13:52] Tony Winyard: So so you mentioned about the, rather than focusing on the weight, you try to focus on improving health.
[00:13:58] Sheila Carroll: Yes.
[00:13:59] Tony Winyard: How easy or difficult do the kids find that?
[00:14:04] Sheila Carroll: Well, Here’s the beauty of it. It’s difficult if you are the child. All the information’s being directed at you and you are the one left to make these decisions and changes for yourself. And that’s what, at least here in the us, what our medical system is set up to do. People would bring their child to me, who is 10 or 12, even 15, and they’d be like, here’s my child.
He’s struggling with extra weight. Talk to him.
[00:14:34] Tony Winyard: right.
[00:14:35] Sheila Carroll: And, okay, I can talk to him, but, couple things going, couple things are wrong with that picture. Number one, no way at all do we ever wanna make a child feel like something is wrong with them. Or create worry about themselves, the other thing is kids, Brains. Young adults brains are still immature until they’re about 26 years old. So what we’re talking about is the development of the prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that lets you, like your podcast title, talks about live on purpose or live proactively. You need a highly functioning. Prefrontal cortex to make that happen, you need to be thinking a couple steps down the line, like the, your future self, especially when it comes to something like health weight, or health. Like, okay, I ha I could eat these, I could eat these Doritos, or I could eat, something healthier and an egg or something if I’m hungry, oh. What I say to myself is Future Sheila. Future Sheila. Tomorrow, future Sheila. Two weeks from now, she’ll be happy. She ate an egg instead of the Doritos. I say that to my son who’s 11, and I’m like, Theo, what? What would future Theo? And he’s like, mom, I don’t care about future Theo. Which he doesn’t, cause he’s 11 years old.
He wants what he wants in the moment. Over time, I’m gonna keep talking to him about that and as his brain ages and matures and he, he goes down that road to adulthood, his brain will be able to understand that. But when we try to talk to kids, if someone brings their child to me in the office, Okay child, less, less unhealthy food, more movement.
Get yourself to bed on time. Like, no, there’s just no possible way that’s happening. The poor kids, even if they really want it, and most kids do, and they’re very sincere and they’re very like really listening and paying attention, they can’t possibly do it for themselves, and that’s why parents have to do this. It’s not gonna be successful. I’ve never seen a child successfully make a change wi without their parents. And this is like, I even for myself, I look back at my journey and I, like I said, I was one child out of five and my mom, we just went to a regular checkup and the doctor said to my mom, you gotta get her to stop eating. And first of all, that was like really embarrassing for me and I still remember it obviously, so it left some kind of mark. But. We went home and we had a little pamphlet that he had given us about the calories of every food. And I was supposed to limit my calories to 1200 calories a day as a growing 10 year old.
It was crazy. But this was 50 years ago or 40 years ago, I guess. But the thing is, and I know my parents would have probably done anything to help me. They didn’t harm me in any way. They didn’t make, they never criticized me, they never made me feel bad about it, but we never talked about it, number
[00:18:33] Tony Winyard: All.
[00:18:34] Sheila Carroll: And we didn’t change as a family. So my mom was, stay at home, mom, still making cookies every day, still buying all the things that I love to eat and then it was left to me to just don’t eat that. Have more willpower, and as a 10 year old and moving forward, I just couldn’t do that. I couldn’t do that.
So my message is, let’s even leave your child out of this. They don’t need to be involved in this discussion. You and I as the parent, we’ll have this discussion. We’ll do everything to help you, the parent. Become the parent you want to be and become the role healthy role model you want and need to be. Then you will set things up in your house and in your family, and in your, according to your family values and your core values, and then naturally your child’s health will improve because you’ve changed.
[00:19:36] Tony Winyard: Yeah, two, two things come into my head when you were saying that. So one, if the parents have health issues and maybe obesity, it’s gonna help them anyway, help them with their own journey. But also, going back to something that I said, a question I asked you at the beginning, if the parents are obese and then they’re hearing this advice from you.
It seems to me that in some ways it’s gonna be easier for them to help the child because they’re going through the same thing,
[00:20:08] Will it be easier for parents dealing with obesity to help their kids deal with it?
[00:20:08] Sheila Carroll: Yeah. Yeah, I think so. I think so. Yeah. You can certainly have more empathy. I have some clients who are naturally, the parents are naturally thin and they just cannot even understand. It’s hard, I’ve never been that person so it’s hard for me to understand what unnaturally thin, eat whatever you want and you have no problem.
That has just never been my struggle. But it is sometimes really hard for parents to understand, and the way we’ve all been socialized over the past many years as overweight is a personal problem. There’s something wrong with you. It’s you’re, you don’t have good will. Yeah, I don’t know. All of those crazy, crummy things and the bad, the way me made people feel bad about themselves and internalized that stigma, and people are still doing it today, of course.
Yeah. And kids are aware of that. Kids are definitely aware. Yeah, changing the parents is their health improves, their relationship with their child, improves, their relationship with themselves, improves. The whole thing. It’s just so amazing. It’s what happened to me and it’s just such powerful work and it’s.
It’s freeing. Really. It opens your life.
[00:21:33] Tony Winyard: It’s Well, it’s, it’s win-win, win, isn’t it? Everyone wins on that.
[00:21:37] Sheila Carroll: Yeah.
[00:21:38] Some people end up getting stressed by constantly looking at the scales
[00:21:38] Tony Winyard: And so if, you talked before about health rather than weight. And another thing, another angle that I think is better doing it that way is because some people become so fixated on numbers and weighing themselves and the additional stress they put on themselves.
And and that’s the last thing they need, isn’t it?
[00:22:00] Sheila Carroll: A hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah. And weight is made up of a lot of things. Obviously, bone, muscle, water. And so when you get yourself tied to either having a good day or a bad day, based on what your scale is telling you, that’s not a way to live your life, not an enjoyable way to live your life.
And yeah. So if we’re looking at the big picture and focusing on health, Then you are not controlling. What you’re doing is you’re asking yourself, what does my body need? What would serve my body best? And then you can do that as opposed to telling yourself, I can’t eat that because it’s bad for me. Or I can’t eat that cuz I’ll gain weight.
Or and we want people to have, we want kids, especially to develop a really healthy relationship with food. So And understand that food, food isn’t good or bad. Food is just like various molecules stuck together in different ways, but also have the education that you know, the foods that you are choosing to eat, how they’re affecting your body.
[00:23:19] Can you share some practical tips for parents?
[00:23:19] Tony Winyard: Right share some prac practical tips for parents to how to create that kind of culture?
[00:23:25] Sheila Carroll: Sure. My, the advice I like to give is to become the role model that you, the healthy role model in, in all those habits that we previously talked about for parent to. Try to become that themselves. And so what do you do? You really need to ask yourself, first of all, do I want this for myself?
Because there’s so many times, like, it’s gonna be really hard to make any kind of change. If you’re not committed to that change. You can work on getting committed to that change. And so there’s, that’s belief work and, do some of that. Really practical tips are, we can even just get away from food.
Cuz sometimes food is a very touchy subject. Although I will throw in there the most practical tip I can give parents is this should be an, in my mind, a no-brainer is eliminate. I would just try to eliminate it. I hesitate to even say cut back, but like soda, and fruit juice.
Sugar sweetened beverages, sugar iced tea, Gatorade, all those energy sports drinks. Look at the label and see how much added sugar is are in those drinks, and that a lot of it is high fructose corn syrup. Like, oh, and here’s another little tip for parents, is that pretty much I feel like a lot of people know that high fructose corn syrup isn’t healthy for us, but I don’t think a lot of parents.
Know that table sugar or that white, the white sugar you bake with, that’s 50% fructose too. So high fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose, table sugar is 50% fructose. They’re the same thing. So low hanging fruit. Get rid of all those drinks and just drink water or water with lemon or seltzer, something like that.
[00:25:41] Tony Winyard: And
[00:25:41] Sheila Carroll: that
[00:25:41] Many people believe fruit juice is healthy
[00:25:41] Tony Winyard: and you just said fruit juice, isn’t it? And that I think, comes as a surprise to many people because many people still have the belief that fruit juice is healthy. Don’t,
[00:25:49] Sheila Carroll: marketing. We’re all been, we’ve all been affected by marketing. The problem with fruit juice, so natural fruit, like regular fruit is wonderful and wonderful for kids, and I never tell people to limit their fruit. But if you say for orange juice, for example, or apple juice, You put that in a juicer and you all you’re squeezing out is the liquid sugar.
You’ve left the fiber behind, you’ve left, a lot of the vitamins and minerals behind, and now you’re just getting like a massive sugar load. And so fruit juice is really just liquid sugar and kids don’t need it. Yes, they love it. It tastes good. That’s the other thing I think parents need to understand is why do their kids love?
All these foods. Just like we do, kids love foods with added sugars in them because our human body has evolved over the years, over the millions of years to. We get a dopamine hit when we get sugar that tells us, oh, this is good for us. We should do more of that. This will keep us alive.
Keep doing that. So of course, kids love food with sugar. You know that’s been evolutionarily, that has benefited us. That has benefited us right up until about 50 years ago when the company’s trying, is trying to make money. I don’t think people started it from an evil, like we’re gonna make everybody sick and overweight and metabolically unhealthy and unwell. Honestly that has, is what it’s turned into. And this is the water that parents are swimming in, myself included as a mom. My son is 11, like I said, and he goes to birthday parties, he goes to baseball practice, he goes to soccer practice, all of these things. And usually there’s. Food involved and it’s not food that I would want him to eat.
It’s food that’s these highly processed foods. Even at the school, my son’s school has really unhealthy or really, I guess the way to put it is foods with ultra processed foods with tons and tons of added sugar. So this is the water we’re swimming in as parents. And also then you add in screen time.
And sedentary behavior. And then you add in the lack of sleep, we tend to all get so it doesn’t have to be hopeless and it’s not hopeless and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. So my, back to your question, like 25 minutes ago about practical. Practical tips. I pick one thing, start with one thing and it can be a small thing, so you know, soda, for example, or.
Say your child is not getting the recommended amount of sleep. There’s really there’s guidelines on, based on the age of your child, how many hours of sleep. So if you have a 10 year old child, I think, I can’t remember off the top of my head. I think it’s somewhere between 10 and 12 hours of a night of sleep.
But if for some reason your child is getting seven hours of sleep, Okay, now a parent can think what do I need to do to assure that he’s getting this amount of sleep? A And the first step to that to me is education. Why is sleep important for a child? What is the lack of sleep? What is the problem that’s creating for him?
And when parents understand why these healthy habits are so important, that to me, that’s like motivation to actually do it.
[00:29:42] What does proactive mean to you?
[00:29:42] Tony Winyard: Right. You commented on the on the title of the podcast before so two questions about the title. So the full title is The Art of Living Proactively Harnessing the Power of Your Choices. So what does proactive mean to you around health? And also what does what do you think of when thinking about harnessing the power of your choices?
[00:30:07] Sheila Carroll: Yeah, I love that. And like we were talking before we started recording about the power of that and that was life changing for me and I found that I came across that message through coaching, life coaching. But proactive means. To me it’s like, okay, thinking in advance, thinking on purpose.
How do I want to, what do I want to do? And, and so here’s, there’s a life coaching tool and a, it’s a cognitive behavioral therapy model. The think, feel, act cycle. Are you familiar with that? And we have a thought that creates a feeling. And then from our feelings, we do or don’t do things.
So that’s our actions. And what we all Lisa, I’ll just speak for myself. What I really wasn’t fully aware of, even, as an adult, was that a lot of my thoughts are optional and I can choose my thoughts on purpose. The neuroscientists say we have about 60,000. Or more thoughts per day zipping along through our brains.
Then not every one of those thoughts is well number one, correct or helpful for us. So when you learn to get a little bit of distance and create a little bit of awareness about what you’re currently thinking and the results that. That thinking is creating in your life, then you can decide on purpose proactively.
Do I wanna keep that thought or would it benefit me to shift that thought or change that thought and get to a new thought that’s going to give me the feeling that I want, that’s gonna give me the results I want, or give me the actions I want that are gonna give me the results. So that’s the harnessing the power of your mind kind thing, and parents can do that for me, like I say, how do I want on purpose? Like how do I wanna be thinking about number one, thinking about myself as a parent. What are the thoughts I wanna have about myself? I wanna have thoughts that. I’m doing the best that I can. I’m committed to my son, I’m committed to his health.
Whatever, you and you, this is very individual, but this is the work of coaching. And then you can do the same thing with food and thinking on purpose. Like, what foods do we wanna eat? And certainly exercise and sleep. All of the things. Your whole life, your job, your relationship.
How do I wanna feel about my partner? How do I wanna feel about my child? And then you go back and you figure out the thoughts you need to have so that you feel how you wanna feel about your, the person you’re talking about. It’s so freeing and amazing.
[00:33:24] Not all your thoughts are true!
[00:33:24] Tony Winyard: As a coach. What you just said there about, we have so many thoughts and not all of them are true. We don’t have to believe all of them, but. I, it seems to me a lot of people don’t realize that. So how, when you are working with someone, how do you help them to actually realize that and not just, it’s easy for me, it’s for someone to just to hear that and then they’ve forgotten about it by Tamara.
How can you help someone to really remember that not all of their thoughts are true?
[00:33:55] Sheila Carroll: Yeah, so you can it, so it is a process and a pro yeah. Process, I guess. So it’s not just one thing, one time, and you’re like cured of your, thought errors forever. You just realize like, oh, this is my brain. This is how my brain works. Okay, this is the thought I’m having. And then you can, look at it.
Sometimes I think of it like, in the grocery store, like the conveyor belts going down the line and the then the person’s scanning, your item. But our thoughts are like that too. And you can pick up your thought and be like, even ask yourself, is this thought even true? Like, and you can poke holes in your own story about what you’re telling yourself that this thought is true.
So that’s, but it, first of all, you have to have the willingness to do that. And then second of all, it takes just practice and understanding, like, oh, I say to myself all the time, like, I think I’m, I think that was a thought error on my part. Just like, I’m like I, it just came to me, but I don’t think that’s correct.
I don’t think that’s, I don’t think that’s correct, number one. But also like, and I don’t make that mean anything bad about myself. Oh, that’s just my human brain. That’s we know that our brains are constantly, all our brains are doing is trying to keep us safe. And trying to keep us as happy as possible.
And and that’s their job to keep us alive. But here in today’s world, we can actually, harness the power of our brain. And we have two parts like the primitive brain and then the prefrontal cortex. So our primitive brain is trying to. Keep us happy, keep us alive. And our prefrontal brain is the brain that we can harness if we choose to, if we even know that it’s a possibility to achieve our goals.
Set our goals, achieve our goals, live the life we want.
[00:36:05] What is a book which has really moved you?
[00:36:05] Tony Winyard: Is there a book that comes to mind that has really moved you for any reason?
[00:36:11] Sheila Carroll: Well, I wouldn’t be able to speak about it because I haven’t reread it in so long. But what, I read a book of short stories called The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
[00:36:23] Tony Winyard: Okay.
[00:36:23] Sheila Carroll: while ago, and like I said, because I haven’t reread it, I wouldn’t be able to say, but there was something about that book that has stuck with me.
It changed me when I read it. I, and I think she’s just a wonderful author. And most recently, and this is in line with the work that I do, the most life-changing book I’ve read has been called The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason. Fun. And that shifted. That shifted some medical beliefs. I have some biological beliefs.
I learned so much new information that’s been helpful. It shifted my, it changed my whole life, actually. So that’s that’s a book I think anybody could read, especially if you’re struggling with extra weight. And it’s pretty life changing.
[00:37:14] Tony Winyard: He’s got a great way of describing diabetes and the way it. And the way that insulin works in the blood and so on. I love the way he describes it,
[00:37:25] Sheila Carroll: Yeah, exactly right. Yeah. And that’s called the carbohydrate insulin model of weight gain, and weight loss. And when I changed the way I was eating based on trying to keep my insulin level low. I lost 40 pounds. And I think that’s what’s going on in our society today just because of the food world we live in.
A lot of doctors like myself, we were trained in the calories in, calories out model, which is entirely unhelpful and is what’s keeping people really stuck. So yeah, so that book, I highly recommend that book to everybody.
[00:38:08] Sheila’s contact details
[00:38:08] Tony Winyard: So if people wanna find out more about you, maybe to work with you to get more information about the sum of the things you do, where would they go?
[00:38:15] Sheila Carroll: I have a website. It’s my whole name, sheila carroll md.com.
[00:38:20] Tony Winyard: Okay.
[00:38:20] Sheila Carroll: That’s probably the easiest thing, and you can email me from that website.
[00:38:24] Tony Winyard: And if you look in the show notes, we’ll have all Sheila’s social media handles and stuff. There’ll all be there. So just the last thing I always ask is there a quote that stays with you for any reason?
[00:38:38] Sheila’s favourite quote
[00:38:38] Sheila Carroll: Yes. And it’s a quote, it’s a quote by Byron Katie. I’m probably gonna mess it up because I didn’t have it written down, but it’s basically like I, I wrote it. Do you have
[00:38:52] Tony Winyard: I’ve got it "When I argue with reality, I lose; but only 100% of the time.".
[00:39:00] Sheila Carroll: don’t you love that quote. Yeah. And this, the reason why I love that quote. When I argue with reality, I lose, but only 100% of the time, I just, through life, like all of us, we go through, period, challenges life challenges, and I found. For myself, I created a lot of extra challenge, extra pain on top of the normal pain that I would’ve had from having that experience because I was arguing with reality, saying, this never should have happened.
It shouldn’t have been like this, that this person shouldn’t do this, da. And when I read that quote and really thought about it and really It’s been, it took me time. It takes time to think about that over and ask myself, in what ways am I arguing with reality and adding to my own suffering?
And so I just find that quote so powerful because it’s, again, it’s just freeing when you, so what do we do if we don’t, if when we stop arguing with reality, we just, we can accept. Doesn’t mean we have to love it, but at least we’re not beating ourselves up or, hurting ourselves by continuing to, argue against it.
[00:40:26] Tony Winyard: It’s interesting that you said we don’t, didn’t have to love it or we don’t have to love it cuz there’s a quote by Nietzsche and I can never remember how to pronounce his name, but the philosopher and his quote is "Amor fati", which is, love your fate or love thy fate. And he’s basically saying exactly the same thing.
But he says, you should love your fate even if it’s something bad. Because for one isn’t, there’s no point in arguing with it. It’s already happened.
But just it is accepting whatever happens to you, even if it’s something bad. It may be bad in the present, but maybe in the future there was a good reason for that or it brought good things or whatever.
[00:41:08] We make things worse by fighting reality
[00:41:08] Sheila Carroll: Yeah. Yeah. And honestly, like maybe there’s never a positive outcome, or there’s, you’re never able to shift it. But also, if you can just accept that and sit with that acceptance, at least you’re not making your own suffering worse. And Yeah, and that’s, I used to do that to myself all the time.
I had a miscarriage and and I just remember I didn’t know this at the time and I’d never heard this quote, and I added so much quote, dirty pain to my the clean pain of losing a baby and then adding on. This never, I just was like, refuse this. Never, how did this happen? Why did this happen?
This never should have happened. And it just was, it was like torture. I was torturing myself
[00:41:58] Tony Winyard: Yeah.
[00:41:58] Sheila Carroll: and I didn’t know, I didn’t know any better, so that’s the other thing I love teaching parents about is some of these emotional skills and so how can parents teach their kids? To sit and accept these negative emotions and accept them in their body and deal with it, meaning like deal with it in a healthy way or manage it.
So because so much of things that we do overeating over, scrolling on social media, overshopping over drinking, we are essentially trying to get away from some negative emotions. And if we can teach our kids first you have to learn yourself, but you can learn how to be with your emotion, process, your emotion and it, and then it just flows through you.
And you don’t become, reactive to it, especially in a way that’s negative and impacts your, you and your health or your relationships in a negative way. So I love teaching parents that as well.
[00:43:07] Tony Winyard: Well, Sheila, we have run out of time. It’s been real pleasure, so thank you for your time
[00:43:12] Sheila Carroll: talk a lot.
[00:43:13] Tony Winyard: and for helping people with some really important issues, especially with their, with children, which is, obviously so important. So thank you.
[00:43:21] Sheila Carroll: Thank you. Thanks for having me on your show. Appreciate it.
Next week episode 234 with Jodi Klaristenfeld. And we discuss her organization FLRRiSH, which provides support and resources for parents of premature babies and NICU graduates. After Jodi’s own traumatic experience, having a daughter born 12 weeks early. She recognized the lack of community and information for those parents and through FLRRiSH she offers peer support groups, expert advice, and practical guidance. To help parents navigate their child’s medical needs. And developmental delays and she advocates for securing necessary therapies and tailored education, so these children can flourish. And she stresses about being proactive, thinking ahead, asking questions and putting kids in the best position to thrive at each stage. So that’s, we talk about that and a lot more or less next week’s episode, 234 with Jodi Klaristenfeld. Hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. Please do leave us a review, subscribe, and I hope you have a magnificent week.
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